Is being a Board Certified Periodontist simply a rite of passage following your residency, or something that your peers are doing that you feel you have to do, or is it something that you feel that is expected by your faculty or by others?
I feel that being Board Certified is something much greater than the above. It is a commitment that you make to your patients, your community and yourself. It means that you have taken the time to re-assess the material and knowledge that has been acquired during the three or more years of your postdoctoral training or over the period of time that you have been practicing and taking continuing education courses. It provides the opportunity to mentally collate all of the information that you have gathered in school, in research, and in practice and place yourself at the pinnacle of periodontal knowledge both clinically and didactically. It means that you made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty and allows you to provide the highest evidence-based standard of care for your patients. It will set the stage for continuing your education, as the study of periodontology and implantology is an evolving process and the “state of the art” of practice today will change in a few years, even though the biological basics will remain the same. Being Board Certified is for now; however, with the Recertification Self Study program that the Board provides, the “now” will continue to remain the “state of the art.”
Challenging the Board is for you, and will be an enjoyable experience, as it will show you as well as your examiners and your peers the depth of your understanding of the art and science of periodontology. The Certifying Examination as well as the periodic Self Study Recertification Program will make you proud of what you know didactically and proud of your level of practice. It will additionally assist you in identifying areas that need review.
As a Director of the Board and a Board Examiner having graduated from my residency forty-five years ago, I realize that learning is a never-ending process. I learn when I study to prepare the examinations, and I learn from our candidates when I administer the Certifying Examination, and I learn from my patients. My fervent hope and expectation is that many of the unanswered questions that we have in periodontology and implantology will be answered by you our diplomates. It is you who will keep the future of the specialty of periodontology bright.
Paul A. Levi Jr. DMD